Workplace injuries can happen at any time and may have unwanted side effects, including limited mobility and temporary leave of absence. Despite the pain and discomfort associated with injury, an accident in the workplace that presents a physical or mental impairment cannot face discrimination in the workplace. Any employee who can perform their assigned duties with or without reasonable accommodation is eligible to work with a disability.
Injury and Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently took on a case involving disability discrimination in the workplace. A registered nurse (RN) for Saint Clare’s Health System was terminated from her position after suffering workplace injuries that required surgery and rehabilitation. Despite taking steps toward recovery and receiving a clear bill of health from her primary physician, the RN was subjected to a functional capacity evaluation by Kinematic Consultants, Inc. before she could return to work. The evaluation recommended that the RN return to work with specific disability accommodations, which recommended that assistance be given with heavier physical activities, such as patient transfers and handling loads greater than 50 pounds. Although she was given full clearance to return to work by her physician, the RN was terminated from her position at Saint Clare’s because she had limitations that prevented her from doing her job.
The RN filed a claim against Saint Clare’s alleging discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), which prohibits employee termination based on disabilities, so long as reasonable accommodations can be made that will allow an individual to complete their assigned duties.
Employers Must Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Workers
Due to the reasonable accommodation component of the NJLAD, the RN was granted favor in the disability discrimination claim. Despite Saint Clare’s insistence that the RN would be unable to perform her assigned duties safely, the hospital did not grant the RN disability accommodations of any kind. Although the RN’s assigned duties included maintaining charts, administering medication, and performing patient care, the full details of her employment did not specify situations in which she would be required to lift heavy objects. Saint Clare’s Hospital terminated the RN’s position without providing accommodation on false claims. Because she was given permission by her physician to return to work full-time without limitations, the disability discrimination case was decided in the RN’s favor.
Delaware County Disability Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Victims of Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace due to a disability without reasonable accommodation is unacceptable. If you or someone you know has faced disability discrimination because of an injury that resulted in unfair treatment or termination of employment, you have a right to file a claim. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 today. Our Delaware County disability discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can offer you an assessment if you believe that you are a victim of disability discrimination. We are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.